Three of the UK’s brightest clinician researchers have been awarded fellowships by the Health Foundation, working with the Academy of Medical Sciences.  The Fellowships support translational research that will make a long-term difference to the quality of patient care.

The research funded by these Fellowships spans brain injury, genetics, psychiatric care, health service provision and oncology.

The three clinical academics will receive leadership training provided by the Health Foundation, and mentoring support from the Academy of Medical Sciences. 

Traumatic brain injury, commonly caused by car accidents, falls and assaults, affects up to one million people in the UK each year. Dr Virginia Newcombe's work will help clinicians treat these patients, and identify those most likely to have long lasting issues after their injury. This will have important implications for the provision of appropriate early information to patients and their families.

Dr Jayati Das-Munshi will investigate why patients with severe mental illnesses have a reduced life expectancy if they come from ethnic minority backgrounds. The project will use patient information from multiple sources to address important questions around quality of clinical care, in a large-scale study which has not been previously been possible.

An earlier study by Dr David Church identified a new category of cancers, most often occurring in the bowel and the womb, which are far less accurate than others in reproducing their own DNA, and seemingly lead to a much better outcome for patients undergoing treatment. The Fellowship will allow Dr Church and his team to study hundreds of tumour samples and confirm these findings, which in the next five years could spare many patients from undergoing unnecessary treatments, or lead to more accurate therapies for those diagnosed with proofreading-deficient tumours.

Helen Crisp, Assistant Director of Research at the Health Foundation, said: 'The Health Foundation is delighted to be supporting researchers whose work has the potential to make a lasting difference to care of patients.'

Professor Sir John Tooke PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: 'These awardees are outstanding researchers who will greatly add to the future of clinical science, and I am delighted that we can support them on this journey.'

The Clinician Scientist Fellowship programme was established in 2001. An evaluation of previous cohorts in this scheme has shown that just under 300 significant publications and at least 37 prestigious prizes have been produced as a result so far. It also shows that together, previous awardees have reported leveraging over £49M in additional research funding, which represents a return of £4.45 for each £1 invested in the scheme.

Media contact

Mike Findlay, Media Manager
T: 020 7257 8047
E: mike.findlay@health.org.uk

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